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Indian Women Cinematographers’ Collective, IWCC.

 

Today on 8th March International Women’s Day, We announce the formation of Indian Women Cinematographers’ Collective, IWCC. It is a Collective, comprising of Indian women cinematographers, which will showcase, encourage, celebrate and support our work and vision.

It started as an initiative by senior cinematographer Fowzia Fathima to create a network of women cinematographers, the collective has evolved into a group of 60 members and continues to add new members everyday. Her initiative has set off an exciting time for women cinematographers in India. As we grow in numbers and in strength we intend to trigger changes in the industry.

Our website www.iwcc.in (under construction currently) will feature an extensive database of women cinematographers and showcase their diverse body of work. It’s members will brainstorm over technical and creative challenges via blogs, podcasts and discussion forums on the website.

 

The Collective will celebrate the work of its members through social media, online press and printed publications to shine a light on the excellence of women cinematographers in the field and encourage more girls to consider cinematography and its allied fields such as gaffing, grips and assistant cinematographers as viable professions.

We invite women cinematographers and young women from film and media schools to connect with us at www.iwcc.in and be a part of this Collective.

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, IWCC honors and celebrates Ms. B. R. Vijayalakshmi – the first Indian woman cinematographer, also the first Asian woman cinematographer. She made a niche for herself back in the ’80s, when a woman cinematographer was unheard of and carved a path for future generations of female cinematographers to come.

IWCC members are affiliated to SICA WICA and ISC and will work with these associations to create a healthy harmonious working environment for women in the industry.

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Soumik Mukherjee : Cinematography

Soumik Mukherjee Cinematographer

A film studies graduate from St. Xaviers, Kolkata, Soumik Mukherjee went to the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune to specialize in cinematography. He started assisting DoPs on films like “Ship of Theseus”, while in the institute. After passing out of FTII, he furthered his craft by becoming the associate cinematographer on a number of hindi films, viz., “Dedh Ishqiya”, “Katti Batti”, etc. This was when he got associated with Nikkhil Advani and was offered to shoot the finite series on Star Plus, “POW – Bandi Yuddh Ke”. He has also shot a number of award winning short films and TVCs. Soumik shot an independent feature film that premiered in MAMI this year called “Maroon”.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
Like most average middle class child in India, I watched a fair share of movies in my childhood. But luckily my parents, especially my mother made me watch the classics. Along with the mainstream english, hindi and bengali films I also grew up on Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha, etc.

How did you first become interested in cinematography? Did you start with photography?
In my Mass Communication course in college, we had a paper on ‘Camera & Lighting’. I was very fascinated with camera movements and lighting. I found it more challenging than any the other aspect of filmmaking that was taught to us in college. Also during college I had started working as a part time assistant director in an AD production house, where I learned the basics of filmmaking. Since I was an AD, I was not allowed to touch the cameras during these shoots; which in turn increased my curiosity about it.

I was introduced to videography before I was introduced to photography. I had borrowed my uncle’s Pentax K1000 towards the end of college to practise photography.

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The Train Leaves At Four

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  • ‘The train leaves at four’ is a docu-fiction film of about 55 minutes. The film was shot with a family belonging to the ‘Baiga’ tribe, living in remote Madhya Pradesh, adjusting to “development” and will provide important insight into the question: YE KISKA DEVELOPMENT HO RAHA HAI AAKHIR KAAR?As Lamu packs his sack to migrate towards the city to work along with the labour contractor, his aging mother grieves in silence. Even her other two sons are not around to console her.

    While the eldest is working on the field, the youngest has set out early this morning towards the government office. He hopes to be employed in the village itself. Those hopes are soon shattered though and he is left overwhelmed. Much of what goes on in the government office – the official paperwork, the government schemes is lost in translation.

    By the evening, as Lamu waits for the train to arrive, the contractor’s condescending attitude and stinginess already makes it clear that he has signed up for a disaster, but it is too late for him to go back.

    Meanwhile, crestfallen and influenced by his brother, the youngest son too confronts his mother and expresses a desire to leave for the city.

JURY SELECTIONS AND SCREENINGS:

 
NFDC INDIA FILM BAZAAR’S RECOMMENDED “VIEWING ROOM” 2015 LIST. GOA (Nov 20th -24th, 2015)
 
INDIA STORY, 17th MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL, MUMBAI
 
21st KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, KOLKATA (14th to 21st November.

Vatsala Goel : Cinematography

Vatsala Goel 01

Vatsala Goel is a film cinematographer and an alumnus of The Film & Television Institute of India  (Batch of 2009, dialogue and diploma films as cinematographer are “Virag” and  “Chaita ki ek Dupahari” ). She is from Calcutta, completed her graduation in B.A. English Hons from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta University and served as the Photo Researcher at Forbes India Magazine in Mumbai before joining FTII in 2010. Her first feature film, a documentary named Train Chaar Baje Ki Hai/ The Train Leaves at Four” recently screened at the 17th MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai, and will be screening at the 21st Kolkata Film Festival on Nov 18th. The film has also made it to NFDC Film Bazaar’s recommended list of films in 2015. All her projects have travelled successfully to multiple film festivals such as the IFFI, Goa, IDSFF, Kerela, Clapstick, Kolkata, NSFA, IDPA, IFFLA and more. Currently she is based out of San Francisco, but actively looking to shoot feature projects in India. This is her website and IMDB Page.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
Both my parents are artists and so I was exposed to a variety of art from around the world and different mediums from an early age. We also have a great library of art catalogues and books at home, and so occasionally we’d spend weekends browsing these together. I guess that was my earliest exposure to image-making.
At home we watched Doordarshan classics on our small color TV. But when cable TV came in, we got sucked into it so much so that my father had to cut off the subscription! In those TV-less years, I turned to comic books such as Tintin, Asterix and Tinkle for lunch and dinner time entertainment.
I believe it was the sense of frame-by-frame motion captured in them that somewhere planted the germ of film making in me.

In college I wanted to keep away from rote learning so I took Film Studies along with English literature. Together they really nurtured my sense of storytelling through images and words.

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Adam Wilt’s CineMeter II for iPhone

Cine Meter II turns your iPhone®, iPod touch®, or iPad® into a shutter-priority reflected light meter, an RGB waveform monitor, and a false-color picture monitor. Cine Meter II works on any iDevice with a camera running iOS 5.1.1 or higher. It expands the original Cine Meter app with several added features:

  • Cinematographer-friendly controls let you set shutter angle, ND filter compensation, and arbitrary filter factors.
  • Use the front-facing camera for “lightmeter selfies” – use yourself as the model when lighting a set (not available on iPhone 3GS).
  • The zoomable spotmeter lets you measure light precisely from a distance (iOS 7 or later only, on iPhone 5, iPod touch 5G, iPad Air, iPad mini 2G, or later devices).
  • Add a Luxi™ photosphere for incident-light readings ($30 from ESDevices for iPhone 4/4S or 5/5S; support for other devices coming soon).
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Jayakrishna Gummadi : Interview with a Cinematographer

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JK (on the left)

JK graduated from the FTII in around 2005.  In 2008 he won the National Award for Best Cinematography for his short film ‘When This Man Dies’. His IMDB page is here.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?

My first impressions of watching a film were magical transformations happening on a massive screen. Watching Sunday afternoon regional cinema showcased on DD, I began to immerse myself in studying and understanding the craft behind the poignant and dramatic portrayal of these narratives. Discussing with my uncle Sivaji Rao about how the height of camera placement affects the way a character is perceived, I realised I wanted to be a film maker.
Did you start with photography? If yes, why did you choose to leave photography to take up motion picture professionally?
My fascination for motion picture photography was the foundation for my interest in photography.
I wanted to join FTII and decided to enroll myself in a Bachelors in Photography at JNTU college of Fine arts in Hyderabad.

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Shanker Raman : Interview

A chat with Shanker Raman, graduated from the FTII Cinematography batch in 1995

 

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
As a child I wasn’t a film buff or even close to it. Going to a cinema hall was a luxury. My film viewing was restricted to the Sunday evening films shown on DD. All through my growing years I was never encouraged to watch films leave alone form an opinion about them.

Did you start with photography? If yes, why did you choose to leave photography to take up motion picture professionally?
I did start with Photography.
In my second year at St Stephen’s College the photographic society organized a photo competition called “Aperture”.
I went in casually to see the exhibition and remember being dazzled by the photos I saw.
Particularly this photo essay by dear friend and photographer Gautam Singh titled “From home to college”
That was the turning point.
I inherited an old beat up Pentax SLR from my brother. In college, I had access to a darkroom where we would get subsidized printing paper and chemicals to process and print our negatives.

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